Mariners need to target experience: O’Donovan


Striker Roy O’Donovan believes signing two experienced players in the off-season will make Central Coast a strong outfit next Hyundai A-League season.

The last-placed Mariners gave their success-starved fans something to cheer about on Saturday night as they scored two late goals to snatch a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC in Gosford.

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It’s just the seventh time from 24 matches the Mariners have avoided defeat in what’s been difficult season for the club, who have blooded a host of youngsters.

But the Irishman believes the future is bright for the club, if they can add some experience and quality to the roster.

“We need to sign a couple, there’s no doubt about it,” O’Donovan told ABC Radio.

“We need to get two experienced players from a top league. A centre-half, maybe a midfielder in there with Monty [Nick Montgomery] in there to help the young lads out.

“If we do that we can kick on and do well.”

It looked like being another long afternoon for the Mariners as they trailed 2-0 at the break after goals from George Blackwood and Shane Smeltz.

To their credit, the Mariners never gave in and showed they still have some fight left in them, with O’Donovan pulling one back four minutes from the end before Harry Ascroft equalised in stoppage time.

“We’ve had some dark days this season and it’s nice we fought back,” O’Donovan said.

“It’s great to have a good day. We’re a very young team, we’re like an academy team with two senior players but if we sign a couple next year we’ll be okay.”

The Mariners are next in action on Easter Sunday, heading to Adelaide for a clash with the Reds.

“Adelaide are flying but we can take some confidence from today and bring it into next week,” O’Donovan said.

Both Luis Garcia and Mitch Austin will be available again next weekend after serving their one-game suspensions against Sydney.